Everyone has a different journey in the discovery of alternative methods to healing. Some find their path shorter and more direct. With some guidance, they may find it in their teens or twenties, while others may not seek answers on their own until they are in their sixties or beyond.
When one is experiencing symptoms of a disease or physical ailment, the first stop is often the family doctor. This is usually a choice based on past upbringing and a belief system that was reinforced over many years. However, as one finds no relief, and hears responses from their doctor such as, “We don’t know what is causing it”, or “There is nothing you can do”, or as my wife was once told, “We don’t know why you are coughing up blood but we could remove a lobe of your lungs and then we can tell you what the problem is.” Being processed through this type of medical mill can become somewhat depressing and seem quite hopeless.
If the patient asks their family doctor about alternative holistic approaches, this is usually met a by negative response. The reason this is such a common response is because most medical doctors have not been educated in any alternative forms of healing. Recently I was consulting a cardiologist, and when I informed him I was not going down the path of beta-blockers he recommended and instead would be utilizing acupuncture and herbs, he replied that he could say nothing about my decision since “there was no research” to back up these practices. The cardiologist’s assertion ignored a great deal of modern research and 3000 years and experiential evidence of billions of people. As a result of the narrowness of their “world medical view” these doctors often criticize approaches they do not understand or are unfamiliar with.
When it comes to healing a patient’s disease or physical ailment, the western medical model usually seeks to suppress symptoms rather than looking for the underlying imbalance that has led to the problem.
It’s like the analogy of hearing your water pipes in your house emitting a banging or knocking sound. You call a professional home repair expert, and he or she recommends you put on a pair of ear plugs. The sound is reduced, but the cause is left untouched. Perhaps even more unforgivable is that allopathic medicine almost never supports the body’s own Self-Regulating mechanism.
I will always remember the call I received one day from the nurse at the Dearborn “retirement campus” where my mom (90 years young at that time) was a healthy “independent living” resident. The nurse asked me if I “knew that my mom was not on any meds.” There was such a tone of genuine horror in her voice that I burst out laughing and all I could say was, “Yes, isn’t that great.”
In a recent article in the British Medical Journal, researchers from John Hopkins said that there are over 250,000 deaths a year from doctor error. These medically induced deaths, known as iatrogenic disease, rank as the third cause (just after cancer and heart problems) of death. What ever became of the physicians oath: “first do no harm”.
If it is chronic injuries and repetitive stress patterns, so called Western Medicine rarely looks at a person’s posture or alignment, let alone how that person’s body, moves. In the end, the most common approach used by the western medical model in such cases is a prescription to mask the pain, and or limited physical therapy to address a specific condition, as though that condition existed in isolation.
This approach commonly will not take into consideration the rest of the patient’s body, or his or her’s muscular skeletal structure. What makes things worse is that it is rare where one medical practitioner consults with other medical or holistic practitioners to find a solution for a patient’s health issue to find a solution that works.
Instead, in this country, we basically have two approaches: prescription drugs or surgery. This can lead to serious addiction as in the current opioid addiction crisis, long term disability, or in some cases, death. Of course, if your appendix is about to rupture or you’re critically injured in a car accident, you wouldn’t want to visit your holistic crystal healer, at least not until you’re out of danger.
Many people, after enough time and too much pain, begin to look for practical alternative solutions, and explore outside traditional methods to address underlying causes of their problems. Many people come into contact with alternative healing by talking with friends or family members who have experienced holistic healing in various forms. Other ways often include doing internet searches, reading magazines, like this one, that introduce readers to a whole new world of healing arts.
In this process, people looking for answers to their health problems discover alternative solutions that often include massage, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, structural integration (aka: Rolfing), body-mind medicine, cranial sacral or any of the other modalities that identify causes and provide approaches that help the body heal, rather than putting dangerous band-aids over pain while ignoring the cause.
How about you? When is the right time for you to use an alternative method to regain your health? It is up to you to decide.